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  1. #1
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    Help Setting a Headset Lower Race

    I'm building up a bike for my wife and I'm having a bit of trouble setting the lower race on the fork. The piece is very tight and doesn't have a tendency to self center.

    I've done this one before and recall having a bit of trouble then as well, but that was on a bike that I didn't mind taking a few risks on. I basically hole sawed a piece of wood to fit and just went round and round tapping the race onto the fork. It worked but it makes me nervous thinking about doing this to my wife's more expensive and more beloved new fork.

    Any tips?

    Thanks,

    Brian

  2. #2
    Happy go lucky trevor_ash's Avatar
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    If you can't find the tools to do it yourself (I assume you know what the proper tools are), just take it to a bike shop. It's a quick and easy job assuming they don't need to shave the fork crown down at all.

  3. #3
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    a crown race setter is a glorified piece of pipe. im sure you can figure it out

  4. #4
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    I don't have the correct tools and I probably won't be able to come up with them without ordering and waiting. In the past I was able to make due without proper tools and I guess I just assumed I would be able to this time.

    For what it's worth, I mic'd the diameters at 29.7mm for the Ritchy race and 30.3mm for the Surly fork (but the .6mm might be a little less since outside measurements can read a little high and insides a little low.) I don't know whether that is going to require shaving or not.

  5. #5
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reptilezs View Post
    a crown race setter is a glorified piece of pipe. im sure you can figure it out
    Yea, I've looked around and seen PVC pipe used but with a collar that does match the race.

  6. #6
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    i had a devil of a time trying to set a lower race once. turned out it was a mismatch between the JIS standard and non-JIS. took it to LBS and let them deal with it, rather than butcher it up myself (as i ususally do). i think they turned down the fork, but i'm not sure.

  7. #7
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    "diameters at 29.7mm for the Ritchy race and 30.3mm for the Surly fork"

    No matter what U do it wont fit. What u can do is to sand or file the fork to get if close for the race to set in. LBS time in my opinon if you odnt want to file the fork.

  8. #8
    Happy go lucky trevor_ash's Avatar
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    I'm a huge do it yourselfer, I own crown race setting tools, headset presses, etc. But there are also some jobs I learned are best handed over to the "pro's". I never like doing it (so I know where you're coming from) but I just bite my pride and have them do it. Incidentally, I have a new frame to get reamed and faced and I'm taking it to the shop for that. Going to have them install my headset, crown race, cut the tube, and install a star nut at the same time.....so I'm not just giving advice I wouldn't take myself

    Cheers!

  9. #9
    Senior Member biknbrian's Avatar
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    I ended up using a sanding (not grinding) dremel bit to take a tiny amount off the inside of the race. Really not that much more than the paint/coating. I found that a 1 1/4 inch PCV pipe fit very nicely over the race so I used that to tap it on. It worked perfectly. It went on straight and fairly easily but was still secure. I guess I'll put that pipe away with my home made headset press that also worked fine (sturdy all thread, nuts, fender washers, and wood pucks). The build is coming together nicely now.

    Thanks for all of the advice.

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